Posted by Dr Vaughan Langford, Director of Applications and Marketing at Syft Technologies.
Following their groundbreaking work demonstrating the role of dusts in heterogeneous atmospheric conversion of limonene, toluene and isopropanol, researchers from the University of Lille in France recently reported on the significance of heterogeneous chemistry for isoprene conversion.
Why isoprene? It is the most significant biogenic VOC (BVOC). Isoprene is readily oxidized in the gas phase and has a rather short lifetime in the atmosphere.
But what about chemical processes in aerosols and dusts – especially in dust storms? Utilizing Selected Ion Flow Tube Mass Spectrometry (SIFT-MS) as their gas-phase probe, Manolis Romanias, Frédéric Thévenet and co-workers investigated the isoprene interactions with dust. They discovered that the contribution of heterogeneous chemistry to the total oxidation rate of isoprene is negligible.
The authors note that this result stands in contrast to the behavior of isopropanol on the same Gobi desert dust samples, making experimental measurement of these interactions essential.
And what better analytical technique to do this than SIFT-MS, with its very high sensitivity and selectivity, coupled with rapid analysis?
Note: You can read the full text of the article “Heterogeneous Interaction of Isoprene with Natural Gobi Dust” by Mohamad N. Zeineddine, Manolis N. Romanias, Vincent Gaudion, Véronique Riffault, and Frederic Thevenet in ACS Earth and Space Chemistry, 2017, volume 1, pages 236–243. It is available here: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acsearthspacechem.7b00050.